Woodland Rite – Tina Pritchard

where the notes of lilting birdsong echo clear and pure

After a life dedicated to re-locating frequently, bringing up a family, taking a social science degree as a mature student, working as a college lecturer, a trainer and more recently a Celebrant, Tina Pritchard at last addressed her burning need to write her debut novel, The Sea Glass Beach. Although not autobiographical, the story reflects aspects of her childhood as the illegitimate daughter of a single mother in Ireland during the 1950’s. Tina believes scratching the surface of ordinary lives can reveal, a rich seam of material. Becoming a Celebrant further validated this view. She feels privileged to have been entrusted with writing unique ceremonies marking significant life events. She has also written a number of personalised poems for inclusion in ceremonies she has conducted. In 2016 one of her poems was selected for inclusion in The Great British Write Off anthology. She also won first prize in a 100 word story competition in 2015. As a member of a creative writing group, Tina has been encouraged by the feedback received from fellow writers during the process of writing her novel. She gains much of her inspiration from walking in the countryside with her badly behaved terrier Horace.

Woodland Rite

Take me to the woods
where the green gnarled boughs rise majestically
from scarred and riven trunks, braced and steadfast.
Noble sentinels, knee deep in fragmenting crumb,
rooted in leaf litter, old as time and humming with life.

Take me to the woods
where the sun glints through the spreading canopy
and sudden heavy raindrops bend flattened leaves.  
Shivering their burden, they send a rainbow cascade
of liquid light to beguile the unwary, in this kingdom of delights.

Take me to the woods
where the notes of lilting birdsong echo clear and pure,
borne aloft on a freshening breeze.
A trembling of finches dart through sheltering hedgerows,
tiny chirrups joining the sweet flute of the mistle thrush.

Will you take me to the woods
where the solitary oak serenely awaits my impending arrival,
branches outstretched in welcome.
White ash, fragments of stardust mingle with teeming loam,
a scattering of motes at journey’s end. Elemental as earth I will become.

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

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